Custom Box Design in Minnesota

Custom box design is something we not only love, but take seriously at Sunrise Packaging.

Our approach is founded in common sense and experience. When anyone encounters an interesting package, their curiosity is automatically piqued. The packaging doesn't have to be unnecessarily tricky, the closure particularly unique. It's a closed box; sometimes, that's all we need to get our imagination flowing.  Our job is to get the user excited for your product.

We accomplish this by using some of our tried and true methods to create great customized packaging. When it comes to a box, it's not always *just* a box.

Delivering More Than a Package: Custom Box Design

Custom Size

It's practically passed into cliche to talk about how to maneuver square pegs into round holes. Yet, when it comes to packaging, there's a kind of "single size fits all" mentality that drives organizations to buy boxes in bulk. While we recognize there's no harm in that approach, there's also not much to gain, either. Part of the pleasure of custom box design is derived from the fit. Perfect, every time. In the example to the side, we created this box for Rheem as a thank-you to their customers.   While the image might distort the size, it's a large box at 24 inches by 22 inches and 8 inches deep.

Just like any bespoke product, a box that's made specifically for your product will always do the job it's designed to do: make your product shine.

Custom Inserts

In the final picture above, you can just see the inside of the box with the custom foam inserts inside. We talk a lot about presentation packaging at Sunrise, and this project is a perfect example. Presentation packaging can focus on the external features, but it's also about how a product (or products) lay inside the custom box design as well. As we mentioned above, everyone wants to be dazzled by an unopened box. Make sure that the reality lives up to expectations with a little padding inside your package.

Custom Finishing

Presentation is all about appearances, and ensuring that your box presents well to customers is key. Yes, the focal point is what's inside the package. But that doesn't mean you get to ignore the outside.

We love this example above because it's simple yet stunning. The brand pops out at the viewer, and while you can't touch it through the screen, it's wrapped in soft Nuba paper. Great packaging engages multiple senses; this one does not disappoint on multiple fronts.

What's Your Custom Box Style?

Just like people, boxes and organizations have personalities. What do you want yours to say?

Sunrise can help develop it. Contact our team today!

Custom Magnet Boxes for a New Era

It doesn't matter the age. It doesn't matter the intelligence. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what the product is. The fact is, custom magnet boxes are loved by everyone. 

If we had to put a reason as to why, it probably boils down to the same reason we've talked about before: magnets are just cool. And super versatile. Nearly any box style we produce can be modified to include magnetic closure. Sometimes in the form of a flap, or otherwise, depending on the packaging style. 

And when we say that nearly every product's packaging is enhanced by magnets, we're not kidding. Check out this piece we created for Haute Smokes. Haute Smokes is a California start-up focused on one of the hottest up-and-coming legalized markets: cannabis. 

Custom Magnet Boxes as Cannabis Kits

When California legalized marijuana in early 2018, the floodgates opened. Not only does this stand to turn into a multi-billion dollar industry (in no time at all), it's one that provides opportunities across the business spectrum. One way in which this is helping to boost business is in products like these. 

Cannabis kits and smoking accessories will only grow in popularity and demand as more and more states move to legalize pot. Haute Smokes is on the cutting edge of the market. And they know that it's smart to start with expectations high, especially when positioning their product as sophisticated and glamorous. Custom magnet boxes are the ticket to providing users with an experience before they even view the product. 

Designed to evoke Old Hollywood elegance, Haute Smokes products are for customers who want to not only engage in an experience, but make an impression. And we're excited to be able to design packaging that reflects that.

Customers are immediately treated to the visual experience: art deco-style lettering, embossed with gold. The matte black packaging ensures an immediate impact. The touch of the packaging is soft, with clean lines and crisp wrapping. And upon opening, with the *snap* of the magnet, they're treated to a beautiful product. 

The magnetic closure is really just one part of the overall experience when it comes to packaging. The secret is to make it subtle--and then surprising. 

Custom Magnet Boxes In Any Element

Using custom magnetic boxes is a surefire way to engage users. In an age where customer experience is paramount to earning repeat business, it pays to consider every option. And in our experience, magnets can make that sale. 

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

Custom Promo Boxes & 2018 Trends

Like any industry, custom promo boxes are subject to trends. Take a look through the different ages to get an idea of what was acceptable (or rather, expected) packaging from just a decade ago. You'll see that it's changed, in every way from shipping time to box design.  But what makes this interesting is the nostalgia factor we see creeping into 2018 trends.

More on that later. 

Customers are looking for some key things when it comes to their packaging needs. They want sturdy custom boxes, a personalized experience and, if shipping online, they want it fast. Different markets respond differently to these base demands, but below we include some tips on the most enduring and prominent trends we're seeing. 

Trends of Custom Promo Boxes

Packaging Longevity

We've commented on this before, but it's a recurring factor: we can order from any corner of the globe and have it in our home within days. It's truly amazing. Yet these distances can have adverse effects on organic products, like first aid items and medicines. Packaging needs to withstand the trials of travel.

"Unboxing" & Social 

One of the top YouTube categories for kids right now is unboxing toys. Yes, you read that correctly. It's people recording themselves unboxing toys. Not necessarily playing with them, or sharing them, or anything else - narrating their experience taking them out of the box. And it's not just toys, you can find unboxings for nearly anything on YouTube and beyond on Instagram, Reddit, and more. 

It's important to note that upcoming generations, even more so than the current ones, will be critically looking at packaging styles, containers, and above all, personalization.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia sells. Whether it's garish unicorn-emblazoned Trapper Keepers or Coca-Cola in glass bottles, people are attracted to things that remind them of memories wrapped with happiness. Best of all for packaging design, it's relatively easy to add in a throwback font in design, as well as utilize materials or designs that are evocative of a time past like kraft packing paper or other custom inserts. 

Bring Us Your Ideas

While we do believe that trends should help inform any packaging decisions, we also want to create innovative solutions. Bring us your ideas and your needs, and let's create something perfect for your product. 

Unconventional Set Up Boxes

Using the term "set up boxes" might make sense to you or it might not. If you're not attuned to the packaging industry, it probably doesn't mean much. But that's where we like to take the chance to educate you.

A setup box consists of two pieces. In layman's terms, a top and bottom. The bottom is usually made of strong chipboard with a custom wrap on it. Otherwise known as turned edge, this stylish finish can take on different elements depending on your needs. The top fits snugly over the bottom. Also made of chipboard, it slides on and off easily; you've no doubt encountered this style as it's often used for game boxes, smartphones, and more.  

As you look through our two piece set-up box gallery, you will see the unlimited potential of this customized box style. Sunrise just completed an interesting variation for Findlay Technologies. 

Set Up Boxes By Design

Confused? Look closer. 

By design, this might appear to be another cardboard package delivered by any mail service. Once you read the address label, it becomes clear that this isn't just another mailing box. While pictures don't quite do it justice, the feel of the box gives it away as something special as well. 

You can't quite tell, but these are set-up boxes. The boxes are wrapped with a digitally printed / matte lamination material. From the corners, you can just the turned edge finishing on them. 

We love the unconventionality of this box. It takes multiple sets of expectations and flips them, creating a sense of surprise and fun the for the recipient. Here's what we mean.

Expectation #1: It's just a plain cardboard box 

But from that first touch, the customer realizes that it isn't. Part of engaging users is finding ways to engage their senses, and with this design and style, they're all in.  And once they open the box, they're treated to even more potential customization. Thermoformed trays, custom inserts, the sky's the limit. 

Expectation #2: It's just another set up box

Using a design that usurps expectations helps engage users, but it also illustrates different features of a particular packaging style. While these setup boxes share characteristics with others, the content and design are what set it apart.  Set up boxes lend themselves well to a variety of finishing options. And their hardcover durability makes them trustworthy packaging for nearly any product. 

Design Maketh the Set-Up Box

So the lesson that we learn from this? Taking the time to figure out the overall effect you want your packaging to have helps determine the right box style and the right design.  Taking something seemingly conventional, like setup boxes, and turning them into something truly unconventional, is a challenge we love taking up. Contact Sunrise today to talk through your needs and ideas for your set up boxes!

Offset Printing For Your Custom Box Project

When it comes to packaging, most people might not pay much attention to the printing. Whether it's offset printing, or digital, or screen, it's probably not registered unless they're in the business. At least, they aren't noticing it consciously.

While the integrity of a custom box is the most important element when it comes to product safety, design is up next when it comes to drawing customer attention. Appealing to the five senses is a powerful way to create sentiment with customers. Particularly sight and touch.  This is why choosing your printing style wisely is important. And it's why we usually  suggest offset printing. 

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing is a style of printing that's known for producing the highest possible printing quality. It allows for the greatest detail as well as color fidelity, and it works well with a variety of custom finishes. 

The example to the right is a custom magnet box created for DP Derm. We used offset printing which enhances the spot UV print used on the logo and the wave graphic. While you can't touch it through the screen, the soft touch lamination applied to the offset printed wrap is irresistable. These different features could be used with other styles of printing as well. But when it comes to creating something truly special for customers, it's best to indulge in truly luxurious options. And those options are best showcased by offset printing.

Other Printing Styles for Custom Boxes

We've mentioned some of the other types of printing Sunrise often uses for projects. They include: 

  • Digital Printing
    Faster and less expensive than offset printing, digital printing allows for quick turnaround and allows users to change the modify the output easily. 
  • Screen Printing
    Also called silkscreen or seriography, screen printing is usually used on binders and sometimes on boxes.

These different options all serve different needs, and Sunrise representatives can help you decide which one is best for your project. 

In addition to printing options, the possibilities for finishings is even greater. From foil stamping to debossing and print coatings, there's something to enhance every project. 

Contact Us!

Contact us today to get started on your next custom packaging project!

Casino Gift Packaging Ideas for Millennials

As any professional can tell you, a large part of marketing is generational. Strategies that work for baby boomers don't resonate with Gen X. And then millenials have completely different ideas from Gen X, and Gen Z is already rocking the boat before graduating. And for businesses like casinos, who have casino gift packages and robust campaigns, it gets a little tricky. 

Baby boomers make up the core of the casino mainstay demographic. But as this group ages out of the casino experience, it's necessary to start seeding younger generations. Millennials make up the most dynamic age group, as they come into prime earning and spending years. Anderson DD gives this comparison when it comes to how casinos need to reconsider their marketing strategies: 

  • Boomers and Gen Xer’s tend to spend 80% of their casino money on gaming, and 20% on food and entertainment
  • Millennials will be more likely to spend 30% on gaming and 70% on food, entertainment and non-gaming services
  • Unlike the “individualistic” Boomers and Gen Xer’s, are very social and group-oriented

With these things in mind, it's going to be very necessary for casinos to rethink and reinvest in keeping the attention of this generation.  The good news is that they can start by looking at their high roller packaging and rewards in terms of casino gift packaging.

Why Casino Gift Packaging Matters

Millennials crave customization and a personalized experience that shareable via Instagram and social platforms. Casinos already do great work with this via loyalty cards and other measures. But level up by creating a unique experience for casino patrons. 

Creating unique gift packaging for your loyalty cards creates something that is, on face value, instantly Instagrammable.  Casino gifts could include poker chips, USB drives, commemorative coins, the sky's the limit. Whatever you want to tie into a marketing strategy, it's possible. But beyond that, these die cut folders (example to the side) present a huge opportunity for casinos to connect with customers. 

Using casino gift packaging will help you target millennials by keeping your messaging short and concise, and allows for user generated content (photos and posts) to drive strategies. It also helps you craft a customized experience by creating more alternatives to their experience, allowing them to feel like they're driving. These opportunities might seem subtle on the surface, but fleshed out with a rounded campaign can lead to big gains. 

Design Your Casino Gift Packaging 

Contact Sunrise today to learn more about these die-cut turned edge folders... Or just ask about the casino packaging. We know what you mean!

Creative Packaging Ideas

Think back to the first time you purchased a brand that you’ve come to love. What made you purchase it? Positive reviews? Personal referral? Great marketing? Creative packaging?

Chances are, it was probably a mix of all these things, right? As an organization, you can start to cultivate your brand advocates, generating referrals and reviews, after you nail the last two things. And creating great marketing comes along with creative packaging for your products. 

Packaging is what sells your product. It conveys a feeling, cultivating a longing in your customers. So what does that look like…exactly? Well, it looks different for every product. Which is kind of the point of creating custom packaging design. But we’ve identified a few common trends that are ideal for attracting buyers. 

Creative Packaging Trends

Integrate Patterns

Using patterns in packaging design is a simple and efficient starting point. It can add depth and the perception of texture without the cost of embossing or inlays. Additionally, patterns can be used to evoke specific emotions or ideas. Blue and red stripes will inevitably remind people of the US flag; plaid has rustic or lumberjack connotations. Think through your pattern picks with unbiased audiences to evade any unintentional meanings. 

Think About The CXcreative packaging

We’ve written about CX, or customer experience, a few times before. It’s one of the surest ways to reach the hearts of your customers and start attracting influencers. Customer experience happens on multiple levels. It’s a design aesthetic that’s appealing. It’s including little touches that enhance the product. Check out the note inside SW Basics of Brooklyn’s lip gloss kit.  It shows customers that they care about reusing materials and have a playful sense of humor. It appeals and delights, which is the heart of CX. Custom packaging options like this can include subtleties as well. Things like thumb holes, custom thermoformed trays, or nested turned edge boxes can add layers of pleasure for users. 

Make It A Gift

This is a common packaging design element used by liquor companies. Packaging products like a gift–regardless of whether the purchaser is actually *gifting* the product–immediately makes it more attractive on the shelf. This type of creative packaging doesn’t have to obvious, so halt on the bows and ribbons. Consider more tasteful elements, like an additional simple box or tissue paper inside the packaging. Some companies will even create complementary elements to go with the product, like branded lowball glasses with brandy. Or simply allow the idea of a gift season your creative packaging brainstorming sessions. 

Be Mindful of the Process

While brainstorming can generate many creative ideas, it’s important to bring your packaging producer into the fold early on. Everyone works within a budget, and working with Sunrise Packaging allows us to help frame options that are within the product means. Plus, we have a bit of experience in creative packaging, as you can tell!

Human Factors in Healthcare Packaging

Human factors is the study of how humans behave and interact with objects or services within an environment. It’s existed under many different names over time, but human factors seems to be the one that has stuck. While the field has expanded widely in the digital age–understanding how humans interact with parts of a system essentially defines a great web user experience–it has chiefly been the domain of medical devices.  For obvious reasons, it’s necessary to know how a device that regulates a heart rhythm or helps someone hear needs to work well with the human body. But just as the study has taken on new life in other formats, so can human factors inform another key medical area: healthcare packaging. 

Healthcare Packaging Defined by Human Factors

The ultimate goal of human factors applied to a product is to ensure that it’s safe and easy to use in the real world. It’s a good guideline for any product, but especially when we’re talking about medical device packaging or healthcare packaging in general. In fact, it was made a regulatory requirement by the FDA in 1990 for healthcare. healthcare packaging

Human factors sets out to study and answer three distinct questions at the outset: 

  • Who is the user?
  • What are they trying to do?
  • What is the environment of use?

HealthcarePackaging.com frames some of the scenarios for how these questions might be answered. This line of questioning is known as contextual inquiry. It reveals the key points needed to determine packaging requirements. For example, a hearing aid will need different medical packaging than a set of surgical instruments. Human factors studies, and contextual inquiries, are best conducted with actual users and customers…AKA outside of your boardroom and employee pool. It’s impossible for those close to a product to have an actual consumer mindset. And chances are that the intended use of a product will vary from how it’s actually used.

Integrating the Findings

The study detailed in the article linked above focused on finding ways to make sure the packaging reduces stress for users and simplifies things. In their study, they timed things like how long it took users to open the custom package. They also created graphics based on their findings, like the actual environment where the product is used, and how it fits in, as well as storyboards detailing how the task completion played out for various test subjects. 

Armed with this research, organizations can start to refine their healthcare packaging model. Find ways to reduce complexity and increase understanding for how users should actually be using the product.  

The bottom line? You might think you know how customers engage with healthcare packaging, but you have no idea.

Magnet Boxes: FitBit Blaze Packaging Review

Wearables have been heralded as the next frontier for technology. While the success of Google Glass might be up for discussion, the same doesn’t apply to fitness trackers. Particularly when it comes to FitBit.  There are a ton of trackers out there, but FitBit seems to retain a magic hold on the public. I was an early adopter to the wearable trend, and loved my FitBit from the get-go. I recently upgraded to the Blaze (my third upgrade within five years or so). It’s always great to see a company invest in great packaging, and FitBit includes some great options in their magnet boxes. 

Qualities of Magnet Boxessleeve boxes

Magnet boxes are durable and appealing to the eye and the touch, as well as a popular option for retail custom boxes. They can protect goods without extra protection. The FitBit Blaze also features a paperboard sleeve around it in white. The magnet box, in a contrasting blue, has no marks beyond the FitBit logo on the magnet flap. The custom sleeve design is where the main marketing focus comes into play.

The FitBit Blaze custom magnet box has laminated finishing, which makes the colors bright and vibrant and draws the eye to the picture of the object inside. It’s a little bit of that Apple austerity, but the ‘Gold Series’ calls attention, as well as the iconography. The text is kept to a minimum, but there are some features included on the front, with more on the back. 

The main features included on the front are the ones that make the Blaze different from the other models. It’s a good move to illustrate those things up front. From a consumer perspective, it’s always a concern regarding how different models are from each other–especially when there’s a price difference of $100.  This allows a shopper to view the differences without having to grab each one, turn them over, and compare that way. All they have to do is look at the display and get an idea for what the product looks like and what it can do for them. magnet boxes

Looking at the custom sleeve box in more detail, the back offers quick bits of information in a bullet-like style, enabling shoppers again to get the gist just from a quick scan. One of my favorite features on the box is along the side. Sizing can be problematic for anyone. I have, really, no idea what the circumference of my wrist is, so when the specs say that a small is XX inches and a large is XX inches, it means nothing to me.  But FitBit takes that brain-buster out of the equation by including a wrist sizing tool on the box. This tells customers what size they should purchase. Without having to track down a tape measure. 

Custom Packaging for the Future

When it comes to wearables, the options are limitless. While one might think that the packaging should be something more sophisticated, or stark, or whatever, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the user. FitBit does a great job integrating function with design, especially when it comes to helping shoppers understand the differences in their products. 

 

 

Custom Boxes & First Impressions

We all have ideas for new board games. Okay, maybe not all of us. But who hasn't sat through a long game of Monopoly or Risk and thought "This game would be way better if..." After taking that first step away from a base game, it's only a few more to determine rules and objectives, maybe even moving to designing a game board (or whatever you would call the set-up for "Cones of Dunshire").  You might be ready to commission custom boxes, but hold one second.  How do you know what the box needs?

Yes, the box needs to fulfill the basic needs: holding the game contents safely and securely, providing a pleasant experience for the user, things like that. But the cost associated with custom boxes usually doesn't rise to the top of the list. It's admittedly less interesting than choosing player tokens or designing a game board. But it's arguably one of the most important parts of launching your original board game. 

Custom Boxes: Your First Quest

New ideas for board games can come from any source of inspiration. It might be, like we mentioned above, a new take on an old tradition. It could be something entirely new and original, educational or strictly fun, or any other variety of elements. But in the early planning of the game, keep in mind how this needs to be packaged. Not just from a business or marketing sense, but from a practical and logistical standpoint as well. 

custom boxes
  1. Pare down what's necessary to play the game
    From an imaginary perspective, designing an intricate game with lots of player pieces and tokens, cards and chips, might come off like a great idea. But a game doesn't need to be upward of 100 pieces to be fun (well, unless we're talking about a literal puzzle).  Think of it this way: the more pieces your game has, the more it will cost to produce, and the more it will cost in stores. Additionally, it will affect your packaging requirements. 
  2. Using your pared down model, start to think through what style of packaging is necessary
    Custom boxes need to be able to provide protection for fragile game pieces or simply provide a home for the collective pieces and board. If these pieces are heavy, then a sturdier material, like chipboard, is going to be needed. If they're breakable in any way, consider foam inserts or plastic molding trays to keep them safe. Or, if there are other things that need to be kept from rolling around (like dice), that's another kind of tray. At Sunrise, based in Minnesota, we've helped many gamemasters think through their packaging. Bring your needs to us, and we can work through them. 
  3. Make a list of the things necessary for the box
    And not just art. People who pick this thing up off the shelf want to know a little bit more, so give them a little teaser.  Provide a statement about the game and any other relevant information. Does it include small, possibly choke-able pieces for little kids? Add that a caution might be necessary.  Is there a recommended age range for the game? Add that too. Add anything that might be necessary from a legal perspective, but don't forget that this is what needs to sell customers. 

Sunrise Packaging has been helping gaming auteurs in Minnesota and beyond to create their masterpieces for decades. We know how to prevent expensive errors and miscalculations, and how to help you think through what elements your custom boxes need to be effective. Contact us today!